THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
The House which commenced full legislature session immediately after its inauguration, proved that it means business, by recording an unprecedented feat of sponsoring the first private bills since the inception of the House of Assembly in 1979. It is a bill for a Law on Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Bill 2015 sponsored by a member representing Gweria, Bani, Adena Constituency, Hon. Baziki Suleiman. The 8th Legislature however made history on 16th march 2017 when it finally passed the first Private Bill, a Bill for a Law to Establish Kwara State Health Insurance Agency and Kwara State Health Insurance Scheme, sponsored by a member representing Kaiama/Kemanji/ Wajibe Constituency, Hoan. Ahmed Ibn Mohammed.
Other Private Bills sponsored by members of the current Legislature are People With Disabilities Bill 2016 by Hon. Aisat Boduarin Ibrahim representing Ilorin East Constituency, which has also been passed into law, while Prohibition Against Manufacture Sales and Consumption of Liquor in certain Areas of Ilorin Metropolis) Bill 2017 sponsored by a member representing Ilorin North West Constituency Hon Abdul Rafiu Abdul Rahman is still undergoing legislative process.
The State Health Insurance Scheme Bill which has been assented to by Governor AbdulFatah Ahmed seeks to make all segments of the state have access to affordable quality health care delivery with payment of just N500 premium in five years, while Persons with Disabilities Bill intends to outlaw any form of discrimination against People with Disabilities, especially in terms of gainful employment opportunities, having access to government basic infrastructural facilities and cheçk stigmatization against them .
Equally, the pro active nature of the Legislature manifested in giving legal backing to the establishment of the State Internal Reverence Service to enable the state government to be less dependent on the Federation Account for survival. This feat on 26th April, 2016 empowered the state government to successfully carry on with the business of governance during the economic recession which rendered most states of the federation incapacitated of paying workers’ salaries and pensions and gratuities, talk less of executing projects for the wellbeing of the people who voted them into power.
Apart from passing 14 Bills into law within the last 24 calendar months, 4 other Bills are currently at the final stage of passage into law, while 7 other Bills have passed through the First Reading stage.
The 8th Legislature under the leadership of the Speaker in the bid to ensure that laws enacted by the House were practicable and stand the test of time increased stakeholders’ participation in Public Hearings and inputs emanating from such public hearings were mostly reflected in the final passage of such Bills.Some of the Bills that had scaled through Legislative hurdle and had been assented to by the State Chief Executive have started having meaningful impacts on the people of the state.
Such Bills include Kwara State Revenue Administration (Amendment) Bill 2016, Kwara State Revenue Court (Amendment) Bill 2016, Secret Cult and Secret Societies (Prohibition) Bill 2016, Kwara State Health Insurance Scheme 2016, Kwara State Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education ( Amendment) Bill 2016, Kwara State Land Charge Court (Amendment)Bill 2016 and Local Government (Miscellaneous Provision)(Amendment) Bill 2016.
The Legislature is also at the verge of passing 11 bills into law as the House had conducted all inclusive Public Hearings on each of the affected bills. The bills include Public Procurement Bill which seeks ,among other things, to increase mobilization fee to between 30% and 50%, a bill giving legal backing to the State Internal Revenue Service under the Revenue Court Amendment Bill,ex perte against defaulters, to enable the IRS maximize its revenue collection ability, since the house has vowed not to allow increase in tax rate for the time being.
The Urban and Regional Planning and Development Bill before the House is a fallout of the experience of the Assembly with strong cabals in the planning and development industry, as the house had tried to control illegal petrol stations and other illegal changes to land uses.
The bill is geared towards correcting the weak laws in the sector and complement the People With Disabilities Bill just passed by the House to enrich the lives of the vulnerable people.
Equally, the signature and most revolutionary law in the history of criminal Justice administration in Nigeria is the Administration of Criminal Justice Act , which our darling Speaker single handedly sponsored to apply across Federal Courts in Nigeria during his days at the National Assembly. Kwara State is now ready to enact the law in its newest and most progressive version.
Abubakar Sola Saraki University Bill which seeks to include Attorney General in its Governing Council, while other bills concerning hoteliers, hospitality and tourism industry, licensing for quarry and industrial goods and levy for manufacturing processing are also in the works.
The 8th Assembly has equally through its —Motions and over 200 Resolutions arising from Public Petitions, Matters of Urgent Public Importance and Matters of General Public Importance significantly assisted in ensuring that relevant government agencies, governments at all levels, corporate organizations and individuals live up to people’s expectations of addressing the yearnings of the people of the state.
These include Extortion of Pilgrims for Free Saudi Arabia Visas, Proliferation of Petrol Stations in Residential Areas in Ilorin Metropolis in which 6 Filling Stations were unanimously resolved by the House through its resolutions, that they should be demolished to the forestall loss of lives and valuable property of the helpless downtrodden of Ilorin, the speaker state capital.
The House equally succeeded in drawing the attention of the Federal Government to the deplorable Ilorin-Jebba Highway by
collaborating with the Niger State House Of Assembly in moving the sessions of the two Legislative arm of government to the highway.
This, no doubt prompted the immediate response of the Federal Government in rehabilitating the highway which links southern and northern part of the country as well as the nation’s capital city.
It also resolved the contradiction arising from Issuance of Certificates of Local Government Origin, resolved motion in respect of Promoting the Welfare of Widows in the State; Appraisal of Corporate Social Responsibility of Companies and Industries in the state; Need for Awareness on Fire Prevention and Control; Need For Full Autonomy for the Judiciary of Kwara State; Putting Oke Oyi Silos into use to ensure food Security; Extending the services of the Kwara State Road Traffic Management Agency(KWARTMA) to other cities in the State;Utilizing the Multi Million naira state of the art Vocational Centre in Ajase Ipo ;Urgent attention on Kaiama–Kishi road; Need for the Construction of Second River Niger Bridge in Edu Local Government Area of the state and Need to check Indiscriminate Parking of Trailers in Oko–Olowo Area of Ilorin.